Ian Mackaye – Dischord Records, Fugazi… (2010)

Ian Mackaye would likely shrug if you called him a hero or an idol, mostly because he doesn’t give as much as a fuck about titles as we do – or as he often puts it, his primary concern is simply ‘doing good work’.

However, it’s hard not to feel a sense of admiration or perhaps even awe towards the guy, given the extent and quality of some of his ‘work’. Whether it’s as a performer as part of incendiary groups such as Fugazi and Minor Threat; a forward thinking business owner as co-founder of Dischord Records or as a prolific producer, public speaker and social campaigner in his hometown of Washington D.C., for many, Ian Mackaye – along with many others – has helped make an indelible mark on modern music and counterculture.

Personally, my discovery of D.C. hardcore and the scene surrounding Mackaye and Dischord Records changed my life, in many ways, and led me down the curious musical path I find myself still treading today. I’ve been pretty much obsessed with Fugazi for years and I constantly find myself listening to long interviews or public Q&As just to hear him speak. He’s one of those people who just, to me anyway, never gets boring. Also, he swears a lot, which gets my approval wholeheartedly.

Anyway, in 2009 I had been writing about music for as many people as I could, and after a while it twigged to me that I might be able to use this as a way to speak to musicians I admired, maybe even – dare I say it – some of my heroes. It took a while to get up the guts but after a short run of successful interviews, I decided to try and shoot for somebody big. I found an email address on Dischord Records’ website and sent a request:

“Hi, I was wondering who would be the best person to talk to about arranging an interview with Ian Mackaye? blah blah blah.”

A few days later I nearly fell off my bed when I opened the reply which simply read:

“Hi Ryan,  this is Ian. When do you want to talk?”

First of all, it blew my mind that he actually replied. Secondly, I couldn’t believe it was that easy. But of course, what that meant was that it was real. I actually had to go through with it.

I wasn’t doing it on anyone’s behalf, I wasn’t trying to pitch for any particularly issue or to sell some kind of specialised story, I just wanted to to see if I could talk to him, and it actually worked. But looking back now – of course it worked. He might not give a fuck about titles, but it’s clear he appreciates the idea and importance of connecting and communicating, as he would say, “on behalf of the music”.

We set a date in January of 2010 and I remember the sheer terror of waiting for him to call me back. It was about 9.30 pm my time and after calling him at our arranged time, I caught him in the middle of a meeting. He politely but hurriedly asked if he could call me back in 20 mins and I garbled an answer back along the lines of: “of course you can, you can do whatever the fuck you want!”

I saved his number on my phone, ran through to the kitchen and tried to shove some food into me in order to replace the gaping, nervous void that had formed due to my day-long attempt to prepare for the interview. I had, by this point, suspended all normal functions, eating included, until the sweeping fear and paralysing excitement of this whole thing had passed.

These bonus 20 minutes were a gift so I used them accordingly, horsing some pasta down my throat and impatiently looking at my phone every 10 seconds.

Soon enough, it flashed that pale, old Nokia backlight as the name ‘IAN MACKAYE’ filled the screen. I’d just taken an ambitious forkful of pasta and hastily spat it out back into the bowl in a frantic attempt to compose myself.

Surprisingly, after a few minutes of conversation – including putting me on the back foot in regards to the wording of my opening question – I felt oddly comfortable. The mild insanity of talking to him soon settled into fascination and joy at the idea of actually getting to converse with this guy and talk about things that really interested me.

We talked for almost an hour and at one point I could even hear him doing the dishes. But despite calling me on a few interview clichés and getting me to clarify some questions, he seemed genuinely engaged in conversation and really made an impression on me. It filled me with confidence that I could successfully go head to head with someone I admired and helped to make the idea of meeting anybody else I could think of, a believable goal.

I later met Ian face to face in 2014 while I was on tour with a band in the U.S. After being unable to accept previous invitations to come and see us play, he invited us all to Dischord House – Dischord Records HQ and genuine punk rock museum – to show us around. He was one of the kindest and most interesting people I’ve ever met and never once made fun of us for geeking out, nor did he play up to it. We said we were interested so he showed us around. It was one of the coolest places I’ve ever been and it reinforced how I felt about this guy and his work.

This is one of the coolest and most fun interviews I’ve ever done, even if I was totally shitting it. And here it is in full. Hope you enjoy!

(Interview – January 2010)

You’ve said before that Dischord was set up to document what was coming out of the DC scene and have also acknowledged that there have since been creative periods that are busier than others, but how would you describe the current climate of the scene?

Ian Mackaye: Well, first I would be a bit more precise. The label started and continued to be a vehicle to document music coming from a really specific community. I mean, obviously there’s a lot of music that gets made in Washington that we don’t document and there’s even music out of the DC punk scene we’re not necessarily connected to. But I think the idea was, initially, that there was a group of friends who basically made their own scene and we wanted to document that scene. Then, that scene started to resonate with other people and they started getting involved on some levels, and then people actually started to move to Washington because they were fans of it, so they sort of became part of it. Then we got to the point where the children, like, people who grew up in this city listening to that music, actually, just by extension, were sort of part of that community as well. So the idea was to really document this particular music.

Over the years, it’s… I mean, it waxes and wanes, just from the output from the people we feel connected to. As for today… things are really quiet here and now. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a sort of ‘winding down’. Ultimately, one aspect of attaching the label so firmly to a community is to acknowledge that a community is made up of living people and therefore is a living thing, and all living things will die. And if that’s the case, eventually, if the community dies, the label will also atrophy because it won’t be getting anything new and what it has will just sort of drop off. The relevance of it will just sort of disappear. And that for me was significant because I actually am not particularly interested in being part of the record industry – I think that seems pretty clear, considering that I’m still talking to you from Washington DC; I’m not living in Los Angeles, I’ve not made any “mergers” with any record companies. I actually find the record industry to be largely odious and it’s not what I wanted to do with my life. What I really wanted was to have something to do and something that was creative, that felt like I was engaging with people and projects that felt like something I wanted to do as opposed to something I had to do. And I wanted to make music. And one way one can make music is to figure out a way to do it where you don’t have to be beholden to anybody else.

I understand that recently your priorities may have shifted somewhat as a result of your newfound parenthood, but do you still find time to write music?

IM: Well, my priorities have not shifted. It’s true that I have a little kid now but he’s just joining the picture. I actually don’t share that kind of tendency that people have where suddenly, y’know, ‘then I knew what was important’. I have actually always known what’s important! (Laughs) It’s not like I suddenly realised what’s important because a child came into my life, I just don’t feel that way. To me, yes I have a son but he’s just part of the general picture, so I don’t think my priorities have changed and I don’t think my priorities were ever wrong so why would I change them?

It’s interesting though, at the moment I have a lot of music that I’ve written but I’m a little bit stumped for lyrics and that may well have something to do with it. I mean, one thing about having a child, a young child of course, is that essentially, if a young child is with you, they want all the attention and that is fair enough.

I have always gotten up quite early in the morning, like 6.30 in the morning. I just always get up early no matter what time I go to bed. I, historically, would sit for hours in the morning, thinking about stuff and writing or whatever but now, I get up at 6.30 in the morning with a one-and-a-half year old and he’s not particularly interested in what I’m writing! He wants to hang and do this, that and the other thing. So yeah, I imagine it has affected my ability to have that open space in which I can create, but that’s ok. That’s fine. I mean, that’s just the way life is. He’s not going to be one and a half for ever, he’s not going to be two forever, y’know. We’re going to get into a groove and at some point, I’m gonna get to writing.

I also just want to say one more thing about your first question regarding the DC scene. I want to say that while I am clear about the idea that there may come a time when the label is finished, I’m not thinking that it is, I’m not planning on it and I’m completely open to the idea that some kids are gonna come along and do something that’s really just going to kick my ass. And I’m ready for it. But if it doesn’t, that’s ok too. I’m pretty at peace with this sort of thing. Obviously December this year marks our 30th anniversary so it’s not as though I think, ‘well, that was a flash in the pan!’

Coming up to this point, I know you’re not one to be too nostalgic, but does it ever stump you just how far you’ve come with the label, and everything else you’ve done?

IM: No. What I think about is what’s in front of me. I don’t think of life as ‘how far I’ve come’ because I don’t think of life in a linear sense. I think of it as just the day, just where I am. I mean, how old are you?

I’ve just turned 24.

IM: Alright so do you think back and go ‘wow, in the last 15 years I’ve really come far’? I mean, of course – you were fucking nine!! (Laughs)

It doesn’t change, you know, I’m 47, but I don’t really think about stuff like that, I just don’t care. I’m not nostalgic, I’m not particularly sentimental. That doesn’t mean I don’t love and respect the work I’ve done or been a part of – I do. But that makes sense to me, if you want to respect and love the work you’re doing, that you’re always being mindful of what’s in front of you. Then, you won’t have a negative relationship with what’s behind you.

I think, from a standpoint such as mine – one of the many people who have pretty much consumed your music, which is a healthy body of work – I can see why it’s a popular question to ask how you feel about it all. I mean, you asked me how I’d feel to look back over the past 15 years of my life but I must admit, I can’t say I’ve done even a fraction of what you have musically…

IM: But it’s not… I guess I just don’t think of it as an achievement, you know what I mean? I didn’t do it to achieve things; I did it to make music. I did it because I wanted to be part of a family, and because I love people and I wanted to be with them, and I thought there were things in the world I wanted to sing about or things I wanted to change or ways I could contribute to the world that I live in. I mean, these are the things I think about. I wasn’t thinking ‘Well, at some point I’m going to have a record label that’s going to last this many years, I’m gonna start a movement’, y’know, I just don’t think about things like that. I just think about the work that’s in front of me.

You were saying earlier that there are kids that have come up through the ranks that have been inspired by yourself (and various musical projects), but does it at all blow your mind to think of the impact that you’ve had on people. For example, with Minor Threat – songs you wrote around the age of 18/19 – I know you might not have intended them to have that kind of impact at the time, but in that respect ,when people tell you how much it has influenced them, does that make you feel anything at all?

IM: I mean, I’m in awe of the phenomenon, but I don’t tend to think of it as ‘WOW! I was a fuckin’ genius!’ What I really think is that kids are real, that teenagers are real. I don’t think in terms of phases. I think a lot of people think about their lives like “well, I was just a kid back then”, but I’ve never been one of those people. I didn’t think that when I was 14 I was somehow not real yet, so I just felt that songs, like Minor Threat songs, I mean, when I wrote them I meant it, and did I want to affect people? Well, yeah, of course I did. I wanted to blow their minds. Whenever I go on stage, no matter what, I wanna wreck it and I’m not talking like physically destroying anything, but I’ve seen bands that have just left me practically shaking with the power of their music and their performance and I just wanna return the favour. And that’s my thing, I just wanna return the favour, always, so in the same way, there are records that I listen to that have deeply affected me, and I wanna return the favour.

So when I was writing those songs of course I was trying to kick it out as hard as possible but I was also really focused on the idea that the teenage experience, the young experience, was universal and I wanted to really write about what it was like to be a kid, and the kind of frustrations kids have, because I was a kid and I was feeling the same and I wasn’t going to sing about ‘adult themes’ – whatever that means. Most of the people I knew were trying to sing songs about like, ‘Well, my wife left me so I shot somebody in the head’ or whatever, but I wasn’t married, I didn’t shoot anybody! They were trying to paint these pictures of depravity because they thought that was more sensational, but I was singing about my life and being honest. I will say that I did quite deliberately leave out references to anything that would’ve dated it so I don’t sing about Reagan or I don’t sing about Carter or Star Wars or anything like that because that wouldn’t mean anything to anybody once it gets past a certain period of time.

I regularly hear from 12/13 year olds who love my music and it kinda makes me happy because I feel like music works and it just resonates and if you mean it, and you do it honestly, it can honestly affect. I really appreciate that. Again I don’t think of it necessarily, ‘wow you’ve truly achieved something’, I don’t think that, I just think that music is no joke.

I’m assuming you probably think that about some people, so can appreciate that feeling though?

IM: I totally understand it and yes, there are people who I really respect and they mean a lot to me. And I know there are people who feel the same about me, and I appreciate that. And I appreciate it when people say things to me and they thank me, and I always accept their thanks, in my mind, on behalf of the music, you know what I mean? I’m just one of the people making the art and I understand the power of it because I feel it. I feel it all the time; I listen to music everyday; I think about it. There’s so many times I listen to a song and I think ‘I just wish I could talk to this person’ because their music has affected me so much, y’know?

Quite often when people meet me they say the same thing and I totally recognize that, and I don’t think less of them; I don’t think ‘oh you’re just a fan, leave me alone’. What I really think is that, they see me, they have a relationship with me, and I don’t have the relationship at all. They have a relationship with me through my music. So when they thank me or tell me how much it means to them, I try to accept their thanks on behalf of the music.

You were talking earlier about how music just works. Fugazi is the longest-running musical project that all four of you have been involved in – what do you think it is about it, and that particular set-up that has managed last such a long time and work so well together?

IM: I think because we were, and remain, the dearest of friends. I mean, Teen Idles; we were friends but we were in high school, and you know friends in High School. And then Minor Threat, y’know, Jeff and I were best friends but we didn’t even know Lyle (Preslar) and Brian (Baker), they went to a different school. They were private school kids. At that time we were playing together, I mean they were kind of our friends but also, it was a very explosive band, in terms of the inner band dynamics. We spent a lot of time yelling at each other! We were all 16-19, or 16-20 and there was a lot of friction in that era in terms of punk; U.S. hardcore punk was birthing and births are accompanied by a lot of friction, a lot of violence and we were in the midst of it all. So, there was a lot of insanity going on. And that band most certainly broke up. I don’t make any bones about the fact that Minor Threat broke up, it was very clear – never to play again. And it was the same with Embrace by the way. We got together to make a band but actually, those three other guys in the band had been in another band together and already had a terrible break-up. So it was almost like we put the desire to be in a band above the actual sustainability factor, which was about nil. And that band might as well have broken up the day we formed.

But Fugazi… actually, when I started thinking about Fugazi, my first position was not to form a band, but to actually find people to make music with. And I understand that there’s a semantic kind of aspect to that, but really, it’s the truth. If you’re trying to form a band and you just take anyone that wants to be in a band then you start playing music together, you don’t know whether it’ll last. But if you just want to play music, the first thing you need to do is find people you want to play music with and you really enjoy that. It’s like becoming friends before you become lovers, as opposed to being lovers and finding out you can’t be friendly with each other. Because I think of bands in terms of relationships, I think this is actually, really, the case.

Joe and I played together for six months, and then Brendan joined us and we played for another six months before we even played our first show! We played for a year, with no name, no gigs planned, we were just making music together. Then, after a year of work, we did a show. But then we played for another year without even putting out a record. So that’s just letting things sit, not checking the rice – you don’t want to lift the lid on the rice ‘cause you’ll ruin it. So it’s the same way – just let things happen naturally. It’s sort of what the song Waiting Room was written about, the idea of “just do it right”. Do it ‘the right way’, because I had done it the other ways and my impatience had often found me wanting, whereas to be patient and just let things develop naturally often means that it’s going to go the distance. I understand that people say ‘well I guess Fugazi broke up’; I always say Fugazi is on indefinite hiatus because the truth is we’re not a shop, we didn’t go out of business or anything like that. We’re actually four really dear friends who have found themselves in a time of their lives where circumstances make it impossible for us to sort of exist as a band the way we need to. So we decided, in 2003, to put the band on ice. But actually, I’m in touch with those guys all the time. Guy and Brendan and I were together over the weekend, I talk to them both regularly, we’re really close friends. And Joe, who’s one of my dearest friends, the main problem we have at the moment is that he lives in Rome, which makes it hard. But the four of us are very close. Will we play again? I dunno, but could we play again? Sure, why not? It’s just a matter of logistics, geography and desire. But I tell you one thing, if we were to ever play again, it would be because we want to play music. We would first play in the basement and maybe only play in the basement but that’s the only reason we would do it again.

Do you think if you were to come back now if would maybe unfortunately be lumped into the category of a Reunion or Comeback like we’re seeing so frequently at the moment?

IM: I wouldn’t think so. I mean, I don’t think Fugazi has ever done things the way other bands do it so I don’t know why we’d start then.  Actually, most of those so-called comebacks or reunion gigs; I think if you were to take money out of the equation, it would not happen. And I think that is NOT the case with Fugazi. That’s what separates the two. The thing is, it’s almost like the money aspect, or business aspect makes it more difficult for us. If we want to do it, we’d just want to do it to play music and we’d need to figure out how to navigate a DEEPLY diseased music world now. I mean in America, Ticketmaster and Live Nation have just merged, and it’s really a deeply discouraging and disgusting situation, regarding the Rock ‘n’ Roll monopoly stuff.

How do you feel about the emergence of things like Myspace and Pro Tools that make it easier to produce music?  Overall, would you say it’s a good thing?

IM: I think that if they’re doing good things with it then it’s good, and if they’re doing bad things with it then it’s… whatever, but that’s the same as it’s always been right? That’s always been the case. I mean if people are making something good and if they’re adding to the culture, it’s good. If they’re adding to the trash pile then we don’t really need it, y’know?! (Laughs) But who can judge? I can’t say. I don’t use these things; I’m not a ‘social network dude’. I‘m just not interested in that world. I’m always concerned about a community which is almost entirely practiced in isolation; that just seems insane to me. I just think that it makes me a little bit nervous, but on the other hand there are plenty of people who send me links to their sites and I can listen to music that way, so I think that’s a very interesting tool.

Currently, I think in America, and I imagine it might be the same case over there; people are deeply stoned on technology. In fact, they’re so high on technology and so caught up in what their phones can do and that sort of thing that the discourse has been shifted away from what they can do. Also I think it’s worth noting that when  people are so obsessed with what their technology can do they’re kind of glossing over what they might do about things that are going on in the world that are deeply fucked up. You have a government that is hiring employees, paid employees that are murdering people in other parts of the world – or killing them if you want to be less political about it – I think that is a bit of a concern, but not as big of a concern as what the new Apple ‘tablet’ is. Imagine if you came to my house and when you came in I said, ‘hey, check this out, see this instrument? Here, hold this thing in your hand, put against your ear. Now push these numbers on it and you’re going to hear someone else’s voice from across the sea!’ and you’d be like, ‘yeah, that’s a telephone!’ but that doesn’t stop people I know showing me their fuckin’ phones! And how they can play harmonica through it and they can look stuff up on a map or whatever. But some day it’s just going to become a tool like this phone, I mean you and I have not spent any time talking about the miracle that we can hear each other’s voices, but there’s a fucking ocean between us!

I think we have now employed the telephone as a tool, and we can use this tool to communicate and to be creative and to sort of further our culture, I hope. I don’t really know if that’s what’s going on with current technology, the newer technology because I think people can’t get past the technology itself. This will change but at the moment we’re just in that era where people are high on their telephones.

I suppose, musically speaking, the whole waiting stage that you were talking about before – the ability to sort of “sit” on things – has sort of disappeared now as, with the emergence of all this technology there’s come a profound sense of urgency.

IM: Yeah I think that’s become a real problem. This actually is an issue for me. Like, if somebody writes me something and asks me a question and I might ask that question but then they’ll post it or just forward it to everybody. So that’s one of the reasons I make people call me because it slows down the process. A guy actually wrote to me asking me a very specific thing and then next thing I knew it was on a blog, and then other blogs, and I was like ‘wait a minute, I was talking to one person, and I think there’s something to be said for this. Like, at the moment I know theoretically how many people I’m talking to, which is the number of people who will be reading the words that you generate for this magazine. So when I talk I’m speaking in terms of that kind of audience. Now, if you and I were just having a conversation this would be a relatively different conversation, because you are the person I’m talking to and we would be the ones having that exchange. But the computer, or the internet, completely perverts this into something that’s almost unfathomable. Anything you do could suddenly be in front of everyone’s face instantly. And it’s a problem because every time there’s a rumour about anything, I’ll get slammed about it and then I start trying to respond to ‘em all… well actually I just don’t respond, I just think ‘oh well, you guys are going to have to figure it out’. I can’t spend so much time trying to clear up the confusion.

Well, I suppose one glaring example would be the ridiculous death hoax regarding you a couple of years ago.

IM: Yeah, that was interesting because I just passed it off as being ridiculous but the problem was that for a lot of people, it wasn’t ridiculous, including my father. Somebody called him and told him that I’d been killed in a car crash. If he’d seen the article, he’d know it was ridiculous but he’d just had a call from a friend of his saying he’d heard I’d died, and he was trying to find me and couldn’t reach me

So he got a little concerned, obviously. I mean, I had old friends of mine, people I haven’t talk to in, y’know, ten years, calling my house in tears, because they’d heard I’d been killed. That’s an example of, I would guess, that there’s some high school somewhere in the US and there’s some kids who are into punk rock, and minor threat etc and some kids are not, so they made a joke on their MySpace page or whatever fucking page, y’know, a prank on one of the kids, and that got picked up and just exploded – which is just ridiculous! We have to take into consideration the juvenile jokes and how that can spiral out of control.

I remember there was some rumour that Fugazi was going to play a show marking our 20th anniversary, in 2007 or whatever, at Fort Reno Park. I didn’t know anything about this at all, I wasn’t aware there was a rumour, but I a friend of mine called from Canada saying ‘I just wanted to call you, I’m about to buy a plane ticket, I just wanted to make sure it was going to happen’ It was never going to happen! It was just a rumour. So it makes me really wary, I have to be careful about what I’m saying and how I say it because I don’t want people to waste their time or their money or anything else on bull shit rumours.

Just to cap off, on a slightly more personal note, I was wondering,  when, or how, did you get to the point that you were able to stop working on the side and concentrate on the music/label etc.?

IM: Well, I stopped working for other people about 1988/89 but, I am not playing music right now, I am working. I haven’t played guitar all day long. I didn’t play guitar yesterday and I didn’t play it the day before. People often tell me, ‘well, you can live off your music’ that’s not true. I live off my work. And I work ALL the time. The sort of active part of the term Do It Yourself is DO IT, and you actually have to do it yourself and I do. I have a record label. Today I had to deal with tax stuff, I was paying bills, I went to the bank, I’ve just been running around all do. We had meetings about this website project, we have two more this week about a distributor, a friend of ours, who’s having trouble, they’re about to collapse and we’re seeing how we can deal with that. Basically I work all the time so I don’t really think of when did you stop working? I’ve actually never worked more! And don’t forget, with Fugazi – and The Evens for that matter – I booked all the shows, we managed ourselves, I did all the driving. Y’know, I just do shit myself. But the last job I had where someone was paying me? I worked in a record store about two years after the band started. But when I was in minor threat I had three jobs!

Did you not get to a point in any of those jobs where you felt, ‘this isn’t worth it, I’ve got better things to do’?

IM: No, actually I like to work so I think my jobs were significant to me because part of music, and writing lyrics… what I was trying to do was talk about life – my life. And because I’d worked these jobs I had this perspective of life. I worked in a movie theatre, I drove a newspaper truck and I worked at an ice cream store, and all these different jobs, it gave me a life that I can write about but then if you’re always in a band, all you end up writing about is being in a band, and there’s something a little circular about that right? It’s like the forever mirror, you’re writing about writing about writing. I think that’s actually almost more vexing. Like, how many times have you seen a band who’s first record is talking about how fucked their boss is and their second record is talking about how touring is so hard?! You know? So it’s like, ok, I’m not interested anymore.

Part of the reason I do all this work, well two reasons, is one, because I wanna have experiences that are not just me sitting playing guitar and writing a song about playing guitar. The second reason is, by doing all this stuff I’m beholden to no one. And I can either play a show or not play a show and it’s MY fucking decision, you understand? I could put out a record or not put out a record. I could put out ten records a year or one record in ten years, it’s my decision. I’m not beholden to anyone else, like if I want to do this interview, I’ll do and if I don’t , then I won’t, it’s my decision. This is really clear. Like, when you set up this interview, who did you communicate with?

Well, of course I just talked to you.

IM: Exactly! It’s my fuckin’ deal! (Laughs) And the reason I do these interviews is again, it’s my work, its part of what I do, but it’s also an opportunity to communicate and exchange ideas and so forth. Again, I think its worth pointing out you weren’t contacted by my press agent – I don’t have a press agent – and I’m not selling anything. I don’t have a new record out, I don’t have a new book out, I don’t have a memoir out, I don’t have a new website and I don’t have a phone app, y’know, you called me and said you wanted to have a chat, and I was like if you wanna talk, that’s fine! It’s not a promotional thing, it’s a communication thing.

I’ve been lucky enough to speak to number of people, musicians, etc., before, but I have to say that you’re the only person I’ve contacted directly, so I suppose that speaks volumes.

IM: I imagine that if you’re a writer you occasionally get people who call you and say ‘hey you wanna do a piece on so-and-so, they’ve got a new record coming out?’

Well, that’s actually predominantly what happens.

IM: And they say this records great, it’s really heavy, his mom just died. This is his first record about the experience of his mother’s death, or he just had a nasty break up or he lived in New York that year… So you should just tell those people ‘I know, why don’t you just fuckin’ write the review?’ because that’s essentially what’s going on.  Unfortunately most music writers are really up against it, especially with the internet, and the parade of pieces that come down. At some pint it’s just that much easier to go ‘yeah this guy is really sad, because his mom died, and this record really reflects that, it’s a really sombre record yet still erotic’. It’s basically what the press release says. It’s just too hard describe, y’know, if we could easily write about music we wouldn’t have to play it. So, anyway, yeah, I feel for you.

Thanks! (Laughs)

IM: That’s a hell of a way to end the interview. Pity the writer!

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